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Vukovar-Srijem County (Croatia)

Vukovarsko-srijemska županija

Last modified: 2016-08-02 by ivan sache
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[County flag]         [County flag]

Flag of Vukovar-Srijem County, vertical and horizontal versions - Images by Željko Heimer, 26 June 2004

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Presentation of Vukovar-Srijem County

Vukovar-Srijem County is situated in the far easter end of Croatia, on border with Vojvodina. The region called Srijem (Serbian, Srem; Hungarian, Szerém) is on the northern bank of river Sava, in a "triangle" formed by its confluence with Danube. After the Second World War, the border between Croatia and Vojvodina (as an autonomous region in Serbia) was made right through the middle of Srijem, so leaving eastern Srijem in Vojvodina and western Srijem in Croatia.

Željko Heimer, 31 July 1999

Flag of Vukovar-Srijem County

The symbols of Vukovar-Srijem County are prescribed by Decision Odluka o grbu i zastavi Županije Vukovarsko-srijemske, adopted on 6 August 1993 by the County Assembly and published on 11 October 1993 in the County official gazette Službeni vjesnik Županije Vukovarsko-srijemske, No. 4.
The coat of arms and the flag were approved on 8 September 1993 by the Ministry of Administration.
The County Statutes Statut Vukovarsko-srijemske županije, adopted on 17 June 2009 and published the same day in Službeni vjesnik Vukovarsko-srijemske županije, No. 9, include in Article 3 the description of the symbols, word for word equal to the descriptions given in the 1993 Decision. This invalidated the previous Statutes of 2006 that must have included the same provisions, even more so since the 2001 Statutes. This in turn invalidated the 1994 Statutes which might have included the same wording from the 1993 Decision as well.
This was repeated in the current County Statutes Statut Vukovarsko-srijemske županije, adopted on 30 September 2010 and published on 1 October 2010 in Službeni vjesnik Vukovarsko-srijemske županije, No. 19.

Article 8 of the aforementioned Decision says:

The flag is 200 x 105 cm in size. The flag is made of longitudinal stripes 15 cm in width interchangably golden yellow and white. The first and last stripe are golden yellow. The lower edge of the flag is indented (the golden yellow stripes are 15 cm longer than the white stripes) and form tongues in shape of squares 15 cm x 15 cm. In the middle of the flag there is the coat of arms of the Vukovar-Srijem County, 41 cm in width and 46 cm in height. The coat of arms is set up 32 cm from the left and right edges of the flag and 70 cm from the upper edge of the flag.

The 1993 Decision describes only the vertical flag that includes four rectangular tails, in overall proportions 21:43 (105 cm x 200 cm plus 15 cm square tails). The horizontal flag is not mentioned. However, the flags in use today (25 June 2004) in Vukovar are both these vertical flags and the usual horizontal flags. These new flags are in proportions 1:2, and the coat of arms is rotated as usual for horizontal flags. Beside these flags, it seems that in Vukovar are popular long vertical flags, similar to Knatterfahnen, attached to the mast along the long edge, with estimated proportions 4:1.

The designer of the symbols is Dubravko Mataković. An academic painter, Mataković is rather famous for his peculiar artistic style and his very popular comics (website).

Željko Heimer, 16 July 2011

Coat of arms of Vukovar-Srijem County

[County coat of arms]

Coat of arms of Vukovar-Srijem County - Image by Željko Heimer, 26 June 2004

The coat of arms is prescribed in Article 5 of the aforementioned Decision as follows:

The coat of arms of the Vukovar-Srijem County is essentially the coat of arms of the Srijem County of 1748. The coat of arms is in shape of a shield with a blue background, on which there are three rivers represented as three horizontal bars of equal width in silver (Danube, Sava, Bosut), in the central part there is on a green loan a deer resting, with a golden collar around the neck (symbol of richness), and behind the deer to the sinister grows a Slavonian oak (symbols of natural richness of the region).

The rivers are now simplified in layout, being straight-edged bars, not wavy any more. The tree is now no longer a cypress but the oak typical for the region.
In a personal communication, Mataković, the designer of the arms, explained that he had been commissioned to prepare the modernized versions of the coat of arms and flags of the Vukovar-Srijem County and of the Town of Vinkovci (that was the temporary capital of the County while Vukovar was occupied, 1990-1995). He did that without interfering much into the historical patterns he had, but it was apparently his idea to change the cypress (or poplar) into an oak, which is indigenous, while the other tree is not.

Considered part of Slavonian Kingdom, the region was lost early to the Ottomans and finally liberated in 1718. The Srijem County was formed again in 1745. The Petrovaradin (or 9th) Regiment was established along the Sava in 1747; the fort of Petrovaradin was located in today's Town of Novi Sad, on the Srijem side of of the Danube. Empress Maria Theresa granted a coat of arms to Srijem County on 6 June 1747, according to M. Atlagić's Grbovi plemstva u Slavoniji 1700-1918, or in 1748, according to the aforementioned Decision, probably since the original document was given to the County on 15 January 1748. The coat of arms was described in Latin, which was the official language of Croatian laws of the time: ... in scuto caeruleo coronato representatur tres fluvii Danubius, Savus et Pacuntium, vulgo Boszud (limites nempe Syrmii), et in solo viridi pone arborem cupressum cervus cubans aureo torque collo circumductus, capite et cornibus erectis in solo graminoso intra dictos fluvios limitaneos; ... (text given in E. Lazsowski's Grbovnice hrvatskih županija). Syrmium is the Latin name for Srijem.

Željko Heimer, 19 August 2006

Imre Csáki shows in A magyar királyság vármegyéinek cimerei a XVIII-XIX. században (Corvina, Budapest, 1995) all the coats of arms of the Counties of the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 18th-19th centuries. The coat of arms of Srijem County (Szerém vármegye) is given as: "A French 19th century shield, Azure three fesses wavy argent surcharged with a grass field vert on which is a deer proper at rest collared or near a tree proper". The shield is surmounted by a Royal crown or.

Pascal Vagnat, 28 June 1998

Historical flag of Vukovar County (1797)

The Vukovar Town Museum keeps a historical flag of the Vukovar County (photo). Year "1797" is inscribed on the flag. The County was established in 1747 and was briefly abolished, as all other Counties, in 1785, to be reestablished in 1790. The flag might have been made then to celebrate 50 years of the County or, as it was the case in Požega County in 1797, as the flag of the volunteer unit in the insurrection against Napoléon.

Željko Heimer, 14 January 2006